STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

COVID-19: How you can cope with information overload 

Experts suggest that reduction in screen time and filtering out misinformation could prevent things from getting out of hand.

Published: 22nd June 2020 06:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd June 2020 11:07 AM   |  A+A-

COVID stress, Online addiction,

Representational Image (Photo| Express Illustration)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: As the pandemic continues its onslaught in the State, are people experiencing an ‘information overload’? Experts seem to think so. They say that people glued to TV and mobile screens trying to glean information about COVID-19 may be prone to stress, anxiety, and paranoia among other issues. Experts also suggest that reduction in screen time and filtering out misinformation could prevent things from getting out of hand.

Dr Sivarajan Thandeswaran, Senior Consultant, Stroke and Neurovascular Medicine at Kauvery Hospital, said that leaving out unverified information and regulating gadget time is important to tackle the crisis. “Being aware scientifically is very important and we must take forward good information like precautionary measures and social distancing. But it is better to have off-screen time and not rely on gadgets all the time for particular information,’’ he said.

Dr Sivarajan said that, unfortunately, consuming a lot of information - and more importantly misinformation - leads to a state of ‘extreme awareness’ and anxiety. “This increases cortisol levels, affecting the brain’s ability to think rationally,’’ he says.

Excess consumption of information as part of the 24/7 news cycle and torrent of WhatsApp messages has put many people under stress and they are sleepless too. Dr Sivarajan points out that he sees at least five patients a week suffering from severe insomnia.

"This is mainly because they can’t stop looking at information on the phone. When people constantly look at numbers, they panic," he says, adding that patients who have had good amount of ‘off-screen time’ have recovered.

Experts believe that information overload may have serious consequences on our health in ways that do not meet our eye. Sahithya Raghu, Consultant Psychologist at Gleneagles Global Health City, said people may experience cognitive decline and dementia.

"People get unnecessary hallucinations. They would feel lonely and it may have psychological impacts like paranoia, anxiety and anger," she said. Sahithya said people must distance themselves from thoughts that make them anxious.

"We can slow down our mind by counting from 50 to one. Healthy breathing is important too," she said, adding that creating a positive atmosphere at homes and workplaces will go a long way in combating mental stress.

Remedies

  • Off-screen time

  • Good breathing practices

  • Talking to others about how we feel

  • Filtering out misinformation

  • Avoid breaking news, consumption of numbers

Stay up to date on all the latest Health news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments(2)

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

  • Iman Chowdhury

    WBCS board will be stopped for students health and mind
    9 days ago reply
  • Durgalakshmi V

    Crisply written
    10 days ago reply
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp